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200 Miles From Home With a Flat Tire, Guess What I Didn’t Have?

We just returned from a day trip to Omaha, NE (from Kansas City) where we wanted to take the kids to the zoo or local wildlife reserve and a children’s museum. About ten miles from our destination I got a flat tire, my wife asked what was wrong, and I immediately knew I was about to have a frustrating next one or two hours ahead of me as we got the tire repaired.

Though I was quite unhappy to begin with, I quickly found out I was missing one very critical part of the tire changing equation… can you guess?

Well, I did have a spare tire and amazingly enough it was inflated. I even had a better than the standard car jack too. But, I was missing, and you might have guessed it by now, a lug wrench! Where did it go? I don’t know. I searched high and low but it was nowhere to be found.

I had everything else in the car. I could start a fire, purify water, stay warm, and plenty more, but I couldn’t do one of the most basic vehicle-related tasks known to man: change a darn flat tire!!

Fortunately, we were car pooling with my sister-in-law and her husband who, though not a prepper like me, had a frigging lug nut wrench. Besides, plenty of other people stopped to offer assistance too which was nice to see.

Ultimately, we wound up with two new front tires because we really needed them anyway and only made it to the children’s museum. So, we were out a few hundred dollars more than we expected to spend today and didn’t do everything we wanted but at least I learned a valuable lesson: don’t just assume because the last time you saw the lug wrench probably several years ago that between then and now it would remain in the same place untouched… well, lug wrenches and anything else as critical.

What to do about this problem? I don’t know. I’ve got my lists of things to check but I never would have added “make sure my car’s lug nut wrench hasn’t moved.”

7 comments to 200 Miles From Home With a Flat Tire, Guess What I Didn’t Have?

  • T.R.

    I have had lug nut bolts break ………..that sucks , big time .

    • Now that REALLY sucks! It actually took both me and my brother-in-law to get a few of the lug nuts off… guess I would have needed to eat my Wheaties if I were on my own. ;)

  • Alertjay

    Sometimes specially designed lug wrenches are hidden in plain view on a vehicle not necessarily next to where the jack is stored.

  • j.h.

    Just last week my work van lost it’s tread along a major highway as I was doing 75mph. I pulled off, got the jack out, gloves, 4 way lug wrench… what the #@@$! The 4 way lug wrench I’ve been carrying for the last 3 years wasn’t deep enough to unfasten the nuts. Luckily a state police officer stopped minutes after (he was in north bound lane and saw my tire let go) as I was just getting ready to relieve myself. He looked at his watch as I tightened the last lug and laughed saying, “just under 20 minutes from start to finish, one of the quickest changes this month.”

    • I’m not sure which is worse: simply not having what you needed or having what you need but it not working as expected. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

  • David Bygel

    Also remember to have the lug nut key required on the newer vehicles I have purchased.